How Ignition Interlock Devices Prevent Drunk Driving
Drunk driving is a serious problem that causes millions of traffic accidents each year. These lead to millions of injuries and thousands of fatalities. This is why most states have very stringent DUI laws. For those convicted of a DUI offense, the courts may require you to have an ignition interlock device installed in your vehicle. This prevents the ignition from starting if the driver fails a breathalyzer test. Many different models are offered by ignition interlock companies, but all have a proven track record of reducing the incidence of driving while drunk or intoxicated, even after they are removed.
Drinking and driving is a dangerous combination
Drunk driving is one of the leading causes of traffic accidents in the U.S. It kills 28 people every single day, and injures thousands. Survivors and family members of those killed have their lives torn apart. The total economic cost of traffic accidents caused by drunk drivers is $59 billion every year. These are al reasons why drunk driving is treated as a serious crime and all states have stringent laws for those who have been convicted.
Besides fines, losing a license, and other penalties, some courts may also require someone who has been convicted of a DUI to have an ignition interlock device installed in their vehicle. This is essentially a car breathalyzer connected to the ignition. Interlock devices lock the ignition if the driver’s blood alcohol count or BAC is over the legal limit.
Ignition interlock installation: how it works
Ignition interlock companies have many different models, which must conform to state requirements. In many states, drivers are asked to install an interlock device even after a first conviction. More often, this happens after multiple convictions. The interlock device is connected to a car breathalyzer cup. The driver is required to blow into the interlock cup before starting the car, to check BAC levels.
The blood alcohol content is displayed on an LED screen and if it is below the pre-set level, the driver can start the car. The pre-set level is usually way below the legal limit and is set at around 0.02 BAC. The legal limit is 0.08 BAC. Ignition interlock devices are very common and around 150,000 have already been installed. The device can be removed once the court-mandated period is over.
Improving road safety
Such safety devices installed by ignition interlock companies have a demonstrable impact in reducing alcohol related traffic accidents. They are associated with a 70% decrease in arrests for drunk and impaired driving. Ignition interlock devices also help to train drivers with DUI convictions to avoid driving with high BAC levels, and their effects continue even after the devices have been removed from the vehicle.
The incidence of repeat offenses by drivers who have had ignition interlock devices installed drops by 39% even after the device is removed, as compared to repeat offenses committed by drivers who have not had such devices installed. This is because drivers become habituated to not mixing drinking and driving. This simple change in habits can lead to safer roads and highways.
For offenders convicted of DUI offenses, many courts will mandate the installation of ignition interlock devices that prevent drunk driving. Ignition interlock companies offer different models to meet state requirements. The devices have been shown to be effective in reducing arrests for drunk driving. They also continue to be effective after removal from the vehicle, as the drivers have changed their habits and adopted safer practices.